Unified Theories and Unified Science
Discussions of unified science frequently suppose that the various scientific theories should be combined into one unified theory, and it is usually supposed that this should be done by successive reductions of the various theories to some fundamental theory. Yet, there has been little systematic study of the characteristics of unified theories, and little foundational support for the use of reductions as a unifying procedure.
In this paper I : (a) briefly review some of my previous work on microreductions, (b) state some conditions which are necessary in order for a theory to be unified, (c) argue that when certain identities exist between the elements in the domains of two theories, then the only satisfactory way to combine these two theories into one unified theory is by a micro-reduction, and (d) indicate briefly some further applications and consequences of this work.
KeywordsUnify Theory Causal Explanation True Sentence Briefly Review Sodium Cyanide
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bunge, M.: 1967, Scientific Research, Vol. I, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
- Causey, R. L.: 1969 ‘Polanyi on Structure and Reduction’, Synthese 20, 230–237.Google Scholar
- Causey, R. L.: 1974, ‘Laws, Identities, and Reduction’, forthcoming in the Proceedings of the Conference for Formal Methods in the Methodology of Empirical Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.Google Scholar
- Hull, D.: 1974, Philosophy of Biological Science, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, pp. 139–141.Google Scholar
- Oppenheim, P., and Putnam, H.: 1958, ‘Unity of Science as a Working Hypothesis’, in J. H. Feigl, M. Scriven, and G. Maxwell (eds.), Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. II, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, pp. 3–36.Google Scholar
- Schlesinger, G.: 1963, Method in the Physical Sciences, Humanities Press, New York.Google Scholar